Building TypeDetached single-family house
About the Project
Designed as a prototype for a low carbon footprint home to replace outdated and energy inefficient residences, the Forever House is located in a single family residential neighborhood in Hastings-on-Hudson. Completed in early 2022, the new 1,703 iCFA single family home has been certified for the following energy efficiency and green building programs:
ENERGY STAR Certified Home Version 3.1
EPA Indoor airPLUS
DOE Zero Energy Ready Home
The owner/architect intended to set an example of a modern all-electric home, based on the concept of a “Forever House”, which meant that the structure would be robust and long-lasting, meeting low-carbon footprint and zero energy targets. The solar array takes into account a future electric car, and the solar batteries provides emergency power when the grid is down. The location of the house was selected due to its proximity to the downtown, allowing for walkability and less dependance on travel by car.
The main level is a u-shaped open living/dining/ kitchen area, all with views of a native plant garden through a south-eat facing wall of triple-pane glass. On the upper level, there is one large bedroom and two other flex spaces that can be used as office, exercise, or sleeping rooms. All rooms on this level have cathedral ceilings, except for the central core above the main hall, which contains the air-source heat pump and ERV equipment to feed and control the indoor air climate. Bathrooms and closets are located in the northwestern walls with small openings to reduce
Aging-in-place is accommodated by handicap accessibility to the first floor, and a two-story shaft for a future lift.
The thermal envelope consists of 18” dense pack cellulose at the roof, 15” at double stud walls, between wrb and vapor control membranes. Deep 30” overhangs at the eaves, hemlock trellises above south-facing glass, and the front porch, reduce solar heat gain in the summer. The WUFI energy model was used as a design tool to select fenestration, roof and wall assemblies, with the solar orientation and energy balance in mind.
Simplicity of design, a measured and deliberate use of space to conserve floor area, and affordable methods to meet Passive House standards, are themes in the Forever House that show how old housing stock can be replaced with sustainable fossil-free dwellings of the future.